turtle tagged posts

Turtles swim to uncertain future

baby loggerhead turtle making way to ocean

Freed from its eggshell by a volunteer, the tiny turtle hatchling clambers across a pebble-strewn sandy Greek beach in a race to the sea, the start of a hazardous journey that only one in 1,000 will survive. Kira Schirrmacher, 22, donning black gloves to gently ease the newborn loggerhead turtle on its way, grins at suggestions that she’s a kind of “midwife”.

“Yes, I do that all day,” says the German social sciences student, of her role.

She’s one of several volunteers monitoring the beaches of Kyparissia Bay, the Mediterranean’s largest nesting ground for the loggerhead, whose scientific name is Caretta caretta.

Tourism, and good fortune all weigh on the future of the loggerhead population, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as vulnerable.

Even ...

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Endangered hawksbill turtle trade much bigger than suspected

Hawksbill turtle shell being traded

The shell of an adult hawksbill sea turtle consists of about a dozen overlapping scales colored with streaks of gold, brown, orange, and red. Hawksbills have long been hunted for their shells—the ancient Romans, for example, fashioned the scales into combs and rings.

Hawksbill scales are still being carved and polished into decorative and functional objects—tortoiseshell jewelry, trinkets, sunglasses. But the difference today is that killing hawksbills is forbidden. That’s been the case since 1977, when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the body that regulates cross-border trade in wildlife, assigned the hawksbill sea turtle its highest level of protection.

Meanwhile, the International Union for the Conservation of N...

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World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day logo

American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 17th annual World Turtle Day® today. The day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, founders of ATR, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 4,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.

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Sea Turtles Impacted By Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Sea turtle being scrubbed with toothbrush

Traveling sea turtles were greatly impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers from the University of Miami (UM) report in a new study. When investigating the 87 day-long spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico, researchers found young turtles arriving at nesting beaches in the area from across the Atlantic Ocean likely trudged through contaminated waters.

“There is a perception that the spill’s impacts were largely contained to the northern Gulf of Mexico, because that is where the oil remained,” Nathan Putman, lead author of the recent study and researcher from UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said in a news release. “However, this overlooks the movement of migratory and dispersive marine animals into the area from distant locations.”

Using ...

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